The Buccaneers dropped their second straight home game to start the 2014 season 0-2 after losing to the St. Louis Rams, 19-17. While there were some bad Buccaneers performers there were a few Pewter Pirates that impressed on Sunday.
MOST IMPRESSIVE BUCCANEERS
RB Bobby Rainey
Rainey ripped off a 24-yard run on his first carry, showing an impressive burst and vision in helping Tampa Bay get off to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. He also had runs of 19 and 31 yards in rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries (6.5 avg.), which was the second-highest rushing output of his career and his third 100-yard game as a Buccaneer. Rainey also had three catches for 30 yards, including a 19-yard reception. Rainey made a strong case to be Tampa Bay’s starting running back after the injured Doug Martin rushed for just nine yards on nine carries last week in a 20-14 loss to Carolina.
QB Josh McCown
McCown started the game 4-of-4 for 25 yards in leading Tampa Bay on a 77-yard scoring drive on its first possession that he capped off with a 5-yard run. McCown also had a 1-yard scoring plunge in the third quarter to give the Bucs a 14-10 lead. While he did throw a costly interception in the second quarter at the St. Louis 2-yard line that negated a scoring opportunity, the fact that McCown led the Bucs on three scoring drives and accounted for two of the touchdowns himself. He finished the game completing 16-of-21 passes (76.1 percent) for 179 yards and one interception.
DT Clinton McDonald
With the loss of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a broken hand, McDonald saw double duty as a nose tackle and a three technique, and came through with his first sack as a Buccaneer and the team’s first sack of the game in the third quarter. McDonald finished with seven tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.
LG Logan Mankins
Mankins gets an “A” for effort with a gutsy performance while playing on an injured knee. He manhandled rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald and held the Rams’ second-round pick to just one tackle. The Bucs ran the ball quite a bit behind Mankins, and Rainey followed his blocks for big yardage.
LT Anthony Collins
Collins wasn’t spectacular, but he did enough to keep Robert Quinn, last year’s NFL leading sacker, at bay and sackless against Tampa Bay. In fact, Quinn had just three tackles and a tackle for loss after notching three sacks against the Bucs last year. Rainey got a lot of his yardage on the ground running to the left side and Collins did a nice job of sealing Quinn off in the run game.
DE Will Gholston
In his first start this year in place of the injured Michael Johnson, Gholston had six tackles, one tackle for loss and his first sack of the season as Tampa Bay’s right defensive end. Gholston’s injured shoulder is still bothering him, but he made five more tackles than Da’Quan Bowers (one) had and was impressive.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
McCown Impressive! Really? He threw the longest pass of his career here at Tampa and it was a little over 25 yards. He is a dink and dunk passer and panics so much he runs when receivers are open and passes to the defense when he panics. One more chance and sit him down and then cut him because he is not going to be able to be effective when you have to come back and win a game. Bring in another seasoned QB that had been cut and lets finally see if Glennon is doable or not. As to the Tampa 2; it will work with the right players. The problem is that a few aren’t on the team yet. Go Bucs! I still support you.
McCown on this list is a joke. If he can’t get through a game without throwing a stupid int. then he’s not impressive! The rookie Davis in his first game ever didn’t do that. McCown on pace to have over 20 int. we lost by 1 point and he negated at least 3 with that int.
Arrgh! The play calling was atrocious! Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, The O-line was a bright spot given what we saw the first 2 weeks. The list is spot on. I’ll begrudgingly accept McCown, but he’s an experienced QB, no excuses for his poor judgment so far!
What the #^*& is McCown doing on this list? He needs to be squarely at the top of the disappointing list. I would argue he should be the ONLY player on the disappointing list. He’s running towards the sideline and well out of the tackle box with no open receivers and a clear path to throw the ball away. Instead, he throws late, across his body, to his left as a right-handed passer, to an area of the field where there is only a Ram and no Bucs within 8 yards. I’ve concluded that Josh McCown has a very, very low football IQ based on the types of mistakes I’ve seen and that directly led to the conservative game management by Lovie thereafter. It’s still Lovie’s fault for believing so much in McCown in the first place though.
Lets face it he’s yet another QB with all the tools but not the brain for the position. The hope was McClown had finally got the wisdom need to be an quality starter after all these years but sad to say he is still what he always was. Time to change it up. If we’re going to lose on poor QB play might as well lose with a young one that still has some ceiling left.
While I agree with the commentary that he has thrown some ridiculously bad picks this year, McCown is clearly still the best QB on the team. Whether you agree with what was done in the offseason or not, McCown gives us the best chance to win right now (although it’s not happening). Anyone think Glennon would have led two TD drives, let alone scoring them with his legs? After all, McCown didn’t fumble the ball away to lose game 1, nor did he ask Mike E to waste the last 10 seconds of this game. We could have won both.
What worries me more about McCown is how Lovie’s lack of confidence in him could lead to even more indecisiveness on McCown’s part. Such a result seems eerily similar to what happened between Schiano and Freeman.
Where’s my avatar?
For Josh McCown to be a veteran and make that kind of mistake is ridiculous. This coaching staff is not impressive at all unless they start to call plays like they have confidence in their Team. I don’t see the Bucs winning the next 3 games and so they go into their bye week at 0-5. We need to get ready for another top 5 pick.
Scott, Kudos on finding candidates to put on this list, I’m sure it was not an easy task.
Everybody piles on the quarterback for the loss. Some of you people are idiots. The coaching surely is to blame for this loss, not Josh.
SR, REALLY Josh McCown???????!!!! Stop drinking the kool-aid, he has been a career backup for a reason and we are seeing it now. He is suppose to bring VETERAN presence to this team. He continues to make rookie mistakes and does so on our side of the field. I would rather see Glennon play. Glennon stats from last years Rams game: 16 for 26 158 yards 0 TD 0 INT, 2 rushes for 3 yards and was sacked 7 times. Mccown stats from yesterday: 16 for 21 179 yards 0 TD 1 INT, 2 rushes for 6 yards and was only sacked 1 time. Glennon was under way more pressure and didnt throw an ill advised pass for an INT. Coaching is also a big issue here. You have 2 6’5″ WR and you dont throw the ball up and let them make the play. All you do is run on 1st and 2nd and then try a pass on 3rd. Everyone in the stadium knew this. piss poor all around
So, SR has officially jumped the shark. McCown??? Really??? We have eyes, Scott. And while we may not cover the Bucs professionally, as do you, we know when a player is not performing well. Accounting for two touchdowns himself? One was a two-yard run that Brad Johnson could have made. The other was the only option he had. You are far too generous on his interception. That was as stupid a play as I have seen by any Bucs QB…and that is a long list of stupid plays. Last week’s poll question told us everything we need to know about how PR feels about McCown. “What Was The Most Disappointing Aspect About Bucs’ Week 1 Loss?
1. The Play of QB Josh McCown
2. Poor Bucs O-Line Play
3. Lack Of Bucs Pass Rush
4. No Takeaways By Bucs Defense
5. Amount Of Injured Bucs”
Note: “The play of Josh McCown” versus the rest of the negative wording.
I’m with you, Scott, on this one. McCown played well enough to win. If the coaches aren’t calling the plays, he can’t execute them. Yes, he made a bone-headed play–that was the result of Jackson bumping into the opposing player. But he completed nearly 80 per cent of his passes. The game plan last week and this week was to get the ball out fast because these were two of the three best pass rushing teams in the league. St. Louis blocked a kick that would have given us the win. They also blocked a punt that gave them points. Nearly every game in the NFL comes down to three or four plays on which the game turns. That’s just the way in it. Ask Matt Ryan about his three interceptions yesterday and Drew Brees whose ill-advised pass turend into a pick six. Even the great ones make bone-headed plays. McCown has made too many, but he’s also showed leadership. f Evans gets off the field, we may have kicked the field goal to win the game and then everyone would have been talking about those last two lasers, McCown threw to put us in position to win.
“Lasers” thrown against the prevent defense hardly constitute great play. By the way…why were both throws in the middle of the field with no timeouts and seconds left??? You’re right, McCown is a genius leader.
WOW…McCown “impressive”. you have totally lost all credibility with me. McCown is not only the worst staring qb in NFL, but worse than the 2 backups we’ve played. You are “out there”!
Give McClown an incomplete, he wasn’t allowed to do anything. I wish they would let him throw every play to see if he’s worth a sh#*t. As Jaws would say, you can’t hide your quarterback in the NFL. If he’s being outplayed by opposing 2nd, and 3rd teamers, might as well turn to our 2nd year pro. I think they will after 0-3.
The Rams were not in a prevent defense. I didn’t say that McCown played great. I said that the loss was not on him. It was on the defense and the special teams. Sorry, but some of you have tunnel vision. You watch the quarterback and ignore everything else.Love all the Monday morning quarterbacks. Total passing yards is simply not a predictive factor in winning games. KC had more passing yards than Denver and LOST the game. New Orleans had more passing yards than Cleveland and lost the game. San Francisco had more passing yards than Chicago and lost the game. Detroit had more passing yards than Carolina and lost the game. Tennessee had more passing yards than Dallas and lost the game. Miami had more passing yards than Buffalo and lost the game. The New York Giants had more passing yards than Arizona and lost the game. Minnesota had more passing yards than New England and lost the game. Oakland had more passing yards than Houston and lost the game. All these games were decidedly basically by turnovers. The Buccaneers have no interceptions and have recovered only one fumble. If that continues, they will not win. Minnesota was intercepted four times and lost. The New York Giants were intercepted twice. Oakland was intercepted twice. San Francisco was intercepted three times. Brees threw a pick six. Matt Ryan was intercepted three times. Tennessee was intercepted twice. Scoring is down significantly so far this year. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The two blocked kicks were the reason we lost this game. McCown was 16 for 21 and averaged 8 yards+ per pass. That was good enough to win. Yes, he screwed up and turned the ball over in the Red Zone. That’s on him. But he was not the reason we lost.
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Unbelievable the knocks on McCown. Yeah he made a bad play, and it’s gotta stop, but this is a red for this game, not last week. The guy is throwing the ball for first downs! Not dink and dunk to the backs. Take away the blocked fg and he led Bucs to 4 scores and almost another. He’s not going anywhere.
I would not have included McCown on the ‘Most Impressive’ list, due to the horrible interception thrown in the red zone. However, to blame the loss solely on him, as some myopic correspondents have done, is asinine.
McCown was NOT the reason we lost the game and aside from one utterly bone-headed throw he actually had a decent game and moved the team down the field. In addition to which he ran in two scores and got us into field goal range for the game winning field goal. An opportunity denied by a combination of incompetent officiating and stupidity/ignorance on the part of our over-zealous medical staff.
Poor coaching and execution on special teams, timid/over-conservative play calling, both on offense and defense, were far more culpable for this loss than one error from Josh McCown.
It appears that Lovie Smith is mired in an out-dated offensive philosophy, i.e. ‘Buc Ball’, which essays to replicate the same turgid offensive strategy that saw former OC’s like Christensen and Shula fired, along with former HC, Tony Dungy. ‘Keeping the game close’ and hanging the result on your defense may have worked in ’99, when Sapp, Brooks, Lynch ‘et al’ were in their prime, but it sure isn’t going to work in today’s modern NFL, when the officials are more whistle-happy than a Thai traffic cop!
With injuries decimating our defensive line and further diluting what was already an underwhelming pass-rush, this season could get very ugly, very soon.
Most impressive for me was the stellar play by the offensive line. I’m not going to crucify McCown for one bad play when he actually played fairly well. I’m not going to say he was impressive; but he played well enough to win if not for the defense’s inability to stop the opponent and the kicking units inability to protect the kicker.
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